SPIRITUALITY AND MINDFULNESS IN PSYCHOTHERAPY: PROMISES & PERILS
John Amodeo, PhD, LMFT
Many of our clients have a meditation practice or are influenced by spirituality. But is their spiritual path one that leads toward healthy emotional development and connection or one that separates them from themselves and others? This talk will draw upon John Amodeo's latest book, Dancing with Fire: A Mindful Way to Loving Relationship, which Dr. Sue Johnson describes as “A must read for every intelligent person who aspires to live as an awake and vibrant human being.”
As he integrates meditation and mindfulness with attachment theory, we’ll explore with John Amodeo the importance of honoring and embracing our feelings and sacred longings rather than bypassing or minimizing them. According to the speaker, an emotionally healthy spirituality is one that deepens intimacy rather than one that isolates us. He will focus on the question of whether attachment leads to suffering, as some spiritually-inclined people suggest or whether it is non-attachment that is really at the root of human anguish. He will also illustrate how somatic approaches to therapy, especially Gendlin's Focusing, can help us mindfully engage with feelings in a way that connects us to ourselves, others, and life itself, and he will demonstrate how to bring mindfulness into the type of psychotherapy that we already do. It is John Amodeo's hope that, after the presentation and
demonstration you will better understand the concept of spiritual bypassing and be more aware of how clients may use this as a defensive mechanism, discover how Buddhist psychology recognizes the importance of embracing feelings and longings as part of one’s spiritual practice, and learn how Focusing is a somatic component of mindfulness and how it can be brought to bear in a psychotherapy session.
John Amodeo, PhD, LMFT, has been a marriage and family therapist for thirty-five years, and he is the author of Dancing with Fire: A Mindful Way to Loving Relationships. His other books include The Authentic Heart and Love & Betrayal. He also co-authored a chapter with Dr. Sue Johnson on EFT and Buddhism in The Emotionally Focused Casebook. He has conducted workshops internationally on relationships and couples therapy and has been a featured media guest on programs that included CNN, Donahue, and New Dimensions Radio. John Amodeo has private practices in San Rafael, San Francisco, and the Sebastopol area. Besides being a Focusing trainer, he has also trained in Somatic Experiencing for trauma.
Date: Friday, March 11, 2016